Man charged with abusing boys may have been a predator for 20 years, police say

Published: Monday, March 25 2013 3:50 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake police believe a man currently accused of molesting young boys may have been committing similar crimes for 20 years.

Investigators are now asking for any victims — or people who know of any victims — to come forward.

Last month, William Patrick Estell, 40, was charged in 3rd District Court with three counts of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony, and one count of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

In November, Estell was charged in a separate case with four counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and sodomy on a child, all first-degree felonies. Both cases are currently still pending in court.

Investigators believe Estell is a predator who sought out young boys at parks, concerts, sleepovers and other places where he might likely find young boys, according to court and jail records. Some of the cases allegedly happened several years ago.

It wasn't clear Monday whether the incidents of abuse were reported when they allegedly happened. Salt Lake Police Sgt. Rick Wall said the cases came to light in November when Estell went to Salt Lake police headquarters to turn himself in. He was unaware Monday what prompted the alleged confession.

Estell was arrested for investigation of molesting a 5-year-old boy he was babysitting in 2006, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. In another incident in May of 2012, Estell was at a concert and inappropriately touched a 13-year-old boy he was sitting next to, the report states. In June of 2012, he allegedly molested another 11-year-old boy. Estell also told detectives he was "sexually attracted to male children," according to the report.

In June of 2011, Estell was charged with sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor, and accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old boy whom he sat next to at on a TRAX train.

In his most recent charges filed in February, a 14-year-old boy at a park said Estell began "rough housing" with him and then sexually assaulted him in a secluded area off the Jordan Parkway. Estell later told investigators he "went to the playground to meet kids," the charges state.

In the charges filed in November, Estell is accused of molesting a 10-year-old boy during a 2008 sleepover at a friend's house. Police say Estell went to the residence uninvited. After those charges were filed, prosecutors asked for "a higher than usual bail" because Estell was the subject of multiple investigations.

He remained in the Salt Lake County Jail Monday on approximately $1 million bail.

Estell was convicted of attempted lewdness involving a child, a class B misdemeanor, in April of 2011, according to court records. His jail time was suspended and he was put on probation and ordered not to have any contact with children under 18.

Based on statements made by Estell, detectives believe there were more victims, Wall said. They are asking anyone who may have been victimized by the Salt Lake man to  contact them at 801-799-3720.

E-mail: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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